E-ZPass is an electronic toll collection system used on most tolled roads, bridges, and tunnels in the Midwestern and Eastern United States that was created in 1987.
E-ZPass tags are active RFID transponders that respond to toll transmitters, whether lane-based or open-road, by transmitting a unique radio signal. Both internal tags (placed on the inside of the windshield) and external tags (designed to attach to a front license plate) are available for customers and can be used for motorcycles. E-ZPass customers can either merge into toll lanes that are also manual toll lanes or some areas have dedicated E-ZPass lane, typically named “Express E-ZPass,” that are physically separate from toll booths and do not require drivers to slow down.
E-ZPass is usually offered as a debit account, where users make prepayments on their accounts and tolls are deducted from that amount. Additionally, some agencies charge a monthly account fee, usually of only $1 or $1.50.
The E-ZPass Interagency Group consists of 39 member agencies in 17 different states. Since the founding of E-ZPass, several over independent systems using the same technology have been folded into the E-ZPass System, such as I-Pass in Illinois and the NC Quick Pass in North Carolina.
The 17 states that use E-ZPass are:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New York
- North Carolina
- Rhode Island
- West Virginia
In addition to road tolls, some airports, such as JFK and LaGuardia in New York, and other parking lots allow customers to use their E-ZPass tag to pay for parking. Some toll facilities are not part of the E-ZPass network and do not accept E-ZPass even if they are in one of the 17 states with E-ZPass.